2. Hiuʦɑθ Text


“lɑʃetɑiθo pɑθɑnesu”

xefiloθnesu θexomɑ, leθelunei θexosu. lofɑθnesɑu xɑθɑnemɑ θesɑsu neʃilessɑuɑʃ ɸestɑ ɑmosŋehɑθ esisolɑ. ɲuexoɑno lɑʃetɑiθomɑ esi θesuɸis, kieʦuʃo neʃisɑu. ŋei xeeleθosu moneθelunemɑ kie xɑʦɑθeto melo tɑxɑolihomɑ. ŋɑi pepɑoʃθɑmoɑtɑ tɑxɑolihomɑ, leθoʃɑsɑtɑɑʃ nexilɑmɑ θesɑsu. xekomɑʃsu mɑlɑɸiθmɑ ʃenɑsθɑɑmo kie xɑkɑθito monɑ sulo hɑpɑθhɑθ, kiemeɲi mɑθoto ɑlume menɑlef ispole somoneθo. ɑxixɑfʦɑsɑ ɑlume mɑlɑɸiθmɑ ɑlɑ, peɑxixɑfʦɑsɑuɑʃ islu. ŋei xeiɲessu souʦimɑ ɲɑmonuʦi tɑɸihɑmɑ kie ɲuemɑlɑto monɑ mɑlɑɸiθmɑ hɑmilɑθɑɑmo. mɑθoɑtɑ tɑɸihɑho ɑlɑ fɑeθe θesɑsu. ŋɑheɸθɑsɑtɑ θesumɑ, nexilɑmɑɑʃ θesɑsu, hɑoxɑθɑneɑʃ θesɑsu. mɑθoɑtɑ tɑɸihɑho ispole ɑlɑ eθɑfɑhoʦuteɸ soispole. ʃiɑŋesoɑʃ θesumɑ ulefsiɸestosoɑʃ θesumɑ, kieule ulefʃinɑsu somoneθo tɑɸihɑmɑ kie ɲuemɑlɑto monɑ mɑlɑɸiθmɑ hɑmilɑθɑɑmo. ʦɑθexo ʦɑθɲeiθomɑ esi θesuɸis, leθelunei θexosu: oŋefʦuso θesumɑ. ŋei xeiɲessu ɲɑmonuʦi tɑɸihɑmɑ kie ɲuemɑlɑto monɑ mɑlɑɸiθmɑ hɑmilɑθɑɑmo. lɑsetoɑno mɑlɑɸiθ hɑmilɑθɑ seliteɸ. mifne komɑʃsu mɑlɑɸiθmɑ hɑmilɑθɑɑmo. mɑlɑɸiθmɑ hɑmilɑθɑɑmo kipoθɑmo islu. lɑseɑtɑ iɑɸneteɸ! xeneʃilessu fɑlɑ, leθelunei θexosu. xeneʃilessu xeʦɑhɑθesuɑʃ ʦeθmo mɑɑpɑmɑ!

English Translation

“A father’s advice”

Come to me, my child. You will leave your family and ride beyond the mountain today. But I give this advice to you before you will go. Don’t trust a person who speaks with turtles. Turtles can’t be burned, and they will scare your horse. Eat orange fruit that grows under ground, only when the moon is a whole circle. The moon will strengthen that fruit, and you will be strengthened, too. Finally, don’t touch—not once—a tree that bears purple fruit. Those trees are your enemy. They will dishonor you, your horse, and your ancestors. All these trees are totally evil. I will hunt you and kill you if you even look at a tree that bears purple fruit. I speak this promise to you, my child: I will destroy you. Don’t ever touch a tree that bears purple fruit. But purple fruit tastes sweet. You should eat purple fruit. Dried purple fruit, too. They taste good! Now ride, my child. Ride and scream like a goat!

[NOTE: My language doesn’t have words for a lot of human foods, like carrots and plums… :)]

Grammar and Vocabulary


Speaker facts: The speakers of Hiuʦɑθ look human and inhabit earth but live separately from the humans, which means there are gaps in their vocabulary for some things that most human languages have words for. When there is a gap, Hiuʦɑθ generally describes the item/object/concept in question through adjectives and relative clauses.

Typological facts: word order = VSO; prepositional; NG; NA; NR. Adverbs are generally sentence-final but can be moved (especially if one of the other elements in the sentence is heavy).

Sentences can be negated (separately from individual words within the sentence, which can also be negated); sentence-level negation is marked by an initial ‘ŋɑi’ for declarative sentences and ‘ŋei’ for imperative sentences.

A verb by itself is its infinitival form; otherwise, all verbs conjugate. The only endings you’ll need for this text are the following:

first person singular, present tense -xo
first person singular, future tense -so
second person singular, present tense -su
second person singular, future tense -sɑu
third person singular, present tense -to
third person singular, future tense -sɑ
third person plural, present tense -ɑtɑ
third person plural, future tense -sɑtɑ

Verbs can be negated by a ‘ŋɑ-’ prefix (often translated with ‘dis-’ or ‘un-’ in English). Imperative verbs take a ‘xe-’ prefix and also take the appropriate conjugation from above.

Passive word order is VO, where no subject is identified or included. The object still takes the accusative case, but the verb has to agree with the object in person and number. The verb takes a ‘pe-’ prefix to mark passivization. If the object is a pronoun, it can be dropped so that the verb stands alone as a passive clause.

If the copula joins two nouns together, both are in nominative case; however, if it joins a noun with a predicative adjective, the adjective takes a ‘-teɸ’ suffix.

Hiuʦɑθ nouns have many inflectional affixes: all plural nouns take a ‘-ho’ suffix. Case markings (which follow the plural suffix, if there is one) in this passage include the following:

nominative (unmarked form)
accusative -mɑ
genitive -su
dative -ɸis
locative -hɑθ (required by some prepositions)

These case endings apply to pronouns, too. There is also a vocative marker, ‘-i’. Definite inanimate nouns are marked with an ‘ɑ-’ prefix; indefinite animate nouns can take the ‘mone-’ prefix, though it isn’t required.

Adjectives agree with nouns in case (but not in number); nominative adjectives are unmarked, and accusative adjectives take an ‘-amo’ suffix.

Adverbs can be negated with the ‘ɲɑ-’ prefix.

All subordinate clauses (except dialogue/reported speech) are introduced by a subordinate marker, ‘kie.’ The subordinate marker is compounded with any subordinating conjunction for adverbial subordinating clauses; the ‘kie’ stands alone to introduce relative clauses. Relative clauses insert a relative pronoun in situ, following the VSO word order.

Coordinating conjunctions appear as suffixes on the element that is being joined; for instance, if two nouns are being joined by ‘ɑʃ’ (‘and’), it would be N1 N2-ɑʃ.


  • ɑlɑ (dem.) that, those
  • ɑno (conj.) but
  • ɑʃ (conj.) and
  • ɑxixɑfʦɑ (v.) strengthen, make strong
  • eleθo (v.) to trust
  • esi (dem.) this, these
  • esisola (adv.) today
  • eθɑfɑhoʦu (adj.) evil
  • fɑeθe (n.) enemy
  • fɑlɑ (adv.) now
  • filoθne (v.) to come, come to
  • hɑmilɑθɑ (adj.) purple
  • hɑoxɑθɑne (n.) ancestors, ancestry
  • hɑpɑθ (n.) ground, earth, dirt
  • heɸθɑ (v.) honor, respect
  • iɑɸne (adj.) good
  • iɲes (v.) to touch
  • islu (adv.) also, too, even
  • ispole (adj.) all, whole, total
  • kie (subordinating marker)
  • kipoθ (adj.) dry, dried
  • komɑʃ (v.) to eat
  • lɑse (v.) to taste
  • lɑʃetɑiθo (n.) advice
  • leθelune (n.) child
  • leθoʃɑ (v.) to scare, frighten
  • lofɑθne (v.) to leave
  • lume (n.) moon
  • mɑɑpɑ (n.) goat
  • mɑlɑɸiθ (n.) fruit, vegetable
  • mɑθo (v.) to be
  • melo (pro.) who
  • menɑlef (n.) circle
  • meɲi (conj.) when
  • mifne (aux) should
  • monɑ (pro.) what, that
  • monuʦi (adv.) once
  • mosŋe (n.) mountain
  • neʃi (v.) to go
  • neʃiles (v.) to ride
  • nexilɑ (n.) horse
  • ɲue (v.) to give
  • ɲuemɑlɑ (v.) to bear (give birth)
  • oŋefʦu (v.) to destroy
  • pɑoʃθɑmo (v.) to burn
  • pɑθɑne (n.) father
  • ɸestɑ (prep.) after, behind, beyond
  • seli (adj.) sweet
  • soispole (adv.) totally, completely, wholly
  • somoneθo (adv.) only, even
  • souʦimɑ (adv.) finally, lastly
  • sulo (prep.) under, below
  • ʃenɑsθɑ (adj.) orange
  • ʃiɑŋe (v.) to hunt
  • tɑɸihɑ (n.) tree
  • tɑxɑoli (n.) turtle
  • θelune (n.) person
  • θesu (pro.) you (sg.), also θesɑ when taking -su suffix
  • θexo (pro.) I
  • ʦɑhɑθe (v.) to scream, shout, yell
  • ʦɑθe (v.) to say, speak
  • ʦɑθɲeiθo (n.) promise, vow, oath
  • ʦeθmo (prep.) like, as
  • ʦuʃo (conj.) before
  • ule (conj.) if
  • ulefsiɸesto (v.) to kill, murder
  • ulefʃinɑ (v.) look (at), watch
  • xɑkɑθi (v.) to grow (intransitive only)
  • xɑθɑne (n.) family
  • xɑʦɑθe (v.) speak with, talk to, communicate with


  • adj = adjective
  • adv = adverb
  • aux = auxiliary
  • conj = conjunction
  • dem = demonstrative
  • n = noun
  • prep = preposition
  • pro = pronoun
  • v = verb